Angel Di Maria’s grin, which was as wide as the Grand Canyon, said it all on Sunday evening where his team Paris St. Germain stormed to a 3-0 win over Monaco in the Principality.
PSG have looked irresistible over the last three years, but this season they looked to have gone up another gear. Tricky games and frustrating draws away from home no longer will stop the French champions in their tracks. Europe should be afraid, very afraid.
The team from the French capital is playing wonderful football, boosted by confidence and more importantly a hunger to succeed. It would be easy for a team backed by millions of euros and star studded egos to take their foot off the pedal after winning three Ligue 1 titles in a row, but under manager Laurent Blanc, the team wants to win everything that is put in front of them.
Last season, PSG won the domestic treble, though they faced a league challenge last season first from Marseille then Lyon and then a rejuvenated Monaco. This season, PSG want to stamp their authority on the league. They want to go the whole season undefeated. They want to win the league by April and they want to play to win in every game. There is a clear defining difference that the sleeping giant has awoken.
And all of this and their star player, the glowing 6ft 5 inch Zlatan Ibrahimovic, hasn’t even scored a goal yet. But he contributes and he waits in the wings, and once the Swede gets going, the sky really is the limit for the Parisians.
SEE MORE: Preview of Ligue 1 2015/16 season.
Going into the match with Monaco, PSG had a 100% record in the league. After 3 matches. they had scored 4 goals and not conceded. After the game with Monaco, that record had changed to scored 7 and conceded none, all of this against one of the meanest home defenses in Europe.
PSG had strangled the game, consumed it, chewed their opposition and then swallowed them whole in an utterly professional away match, where away supporters are rarely seen in Ligue 1 games.
They have also opened up a 7 point gap between themselves and Monaco, who at this point are destined to never claim the title for their selves.
With Zlatan not finding the net of late, it has been left to a whole array of players to get the goals. Midfielder Blaise Matuldi has got a couple, but Saturday night belonged to Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan scored two and Ezquiel Lavezzi wrapped up the game with a third goal, seven minutes from the end.
Blanc will be ‘très heureux’ (very happy) with this display against a genuine title rival. His club had 19 shots to Monaco’s three. His club had 65% of the possession compared to 35% to Monaco and his club got the most important stat, three goals to zero.
PSG can win every trophy that is presented to them in this form and that includes the one that has eluded them, the UEFA Champions League.
Last season in Europe, they showed maturity in finding a way to beat and knock out Chelsea, a club who had knocked them out the season before. They fell inevitably to Barcelona in the next round, but unlike, for example, Manchester City, PSG seem to learn from their mistakes. They are getting closer to the biggest prize in club football. Who would bet against them going all the way and becoming the first French side since Marseille in 1993, that remain the only French club to have won the European Cup/Champions League?
Time will tell and, of course, in soccer you are only as good as your last game, but if the hunger and ambition remains, there are no limits for PSG to create history and bring French football to the fore of Europe once again.
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